LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – The pandemic has taken a toll on everyone, especially those on the frontlines.
Healthcare workers across the country have worked countless hours throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In Lexington, the UK Healthcare ICU operated more than 90% capacity over the past two years.
“They were the only people with the patients. There were no family members. They were their family members,” said Lacey Buckler, chief of advance practice at UK Healthcare.
On Thursday, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners honored 26 of UK Healthcare’s physicians and nurse practitioners for their work on the frontlines.
“They’re an amazing group of people who’ve done some really great work before the pandemic, but during the pandemic, I mean, it’s unimaginable the things they went through. So, just amazing work to be celebrated at a national level,” Buckler said.
Thursday’s event was held to honor and show support for UK Healthcare workers, but Dr. April Kapu said it is also important that we continue to support them at both the national and local levels.
“We’re starting to see a lot of the signs and symptoms of burnout, the physical, the emotional, the mental exhaustion. So that’s why we need to be really supporting our healthcare workforce right now, supporting their mental health needs, as well as everyone else’s,” Dr. Kapu said.
Dr. Kapu had one message she wanted to leave with nurse practitioners.
“Make sure that you’re taking care of yourself. If you’re not taking care of yourself, you can’t bring your very best self to your patients,” Dr. Kapu said.
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners said these nurses at UK helped more than 4,400 patients critically ill from COVID during the pandemic.
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